a new chapter

To New Beginnings

About the end of a chapter, the star of the next one, and the uncertainty of new beginnings

As we turned off the lights, I took one final look back at the empty space. We managed. We got through it. Now, it was time to rest, and celebrate the fruits of our labor.

I’ve experienced this moment very often in the last years. Walking out of high-school for the last time, closing up after events, wrapping up epic season after season of The Codeero Group, or finally shipping of that product. It was always this grand moment, filled with relief, happiness, acomplishment and also quite a bit of tiredness.

This time however, it’s different. There won’t be a lights-off moment, neither metaphorically or literally. To the outside world, it’ll seem like just another Wednesday. To me, it’ll change everything.

On the 24th of January, I step down as Managing Director and will depart The Codeero Group.

It’s weird writing it out, seeing it black on white right here on the page. It still feels surreal, and I think I am getting used to this fact. It’ll be new, it’ll be different and it’ll be scary.
For the last 10 years, The Codeero Group and I have been synonymous. I often made the mistake to say “we“, when I meant “I“, and all of my acomplishments, passions and goals were tied to this company. For all these years, it was: Hi, I’m Julian from The Codeero Group. (Well.. at the start Julo’s Development; but for simplicity, I will refer to it as TCG which was rebranded in 2019). While in school, I juggled responsibilities from academia and my work. I squeezed in client meetings at Starbucks before heading out to the cinema with friends, and worked on the weekends developing apps and websites. Even before I registered the company in my mom’s name, as I was under 18 at the time, I used to introduce myself on behalf of the company. It would create a natural shield between me and clients, whereby I wasn’t just “another teenager“, but a developer employed at a company. As the firm grew, so did I with it. All the events we organized were sponsored by TCG. Later, they were organized by TCG itself, before Codeero Events became its own thing. All the coolest experiences that I’ve had a chance to have, were connected to my work, either directly, or throuugh connections I had made. From attending WWDC in 2015 to getting a spot at MIT Launch in 2016. Between 2017 and 2020, my entire life revolved around the company. I was incredibly lucky to have a chance to work with friends, make new ones at conferences all around the world, and be proud of the work we were doing. I didn’t realize when, but TCG became one of the largest parts of my identity.

I’ve toyed with the idea of stepping away often over the years. In 2019 at it’s peak, I wondered if the grass was greener elsewhere. In 2020 during COVID, I wondered if this was the natural progression of things. Then again in 2021 as we were rebuilding after the pandemic and changing the types of projects we took on. Then, when spending some time sitting on the idea, the same feeling kept coming back. This is not the end yet. There’s more to this story. There’s more to be done, more to be experienced. This chapter may be over, but the book isn’t yet.

In late 2023, the time did finally come, and it just felt right. This was the moment where I have to let go, and let TCG go it’s own direction. It happened naturally and this time around, it feels right. Our core team is also heading off in different directions, embarking on new ventures all over the place. Natalia is focusing on her Masters and company in Italy, Priyantha is looking to move back to Sri Lanka and take a break from technology, and a lot of our extended team is moving on to new opportunities. There came a moment where it just felt right. Where the peaceful realization that this is it became a happy thought.

As for me? I’m a mixed bag of emotions. To be honest with you, I don’t yet know what comes next.

It’s scary. This is the first time in a long time that I won’t have something to default to when asked what I do. There won’t be a constant stream of new projects coming my way, without knowing into which I should put my energy and time. It feels scary to loose such a large part of my identity after all this time.

It’s needed. To call the last years a wild ride is an understatement. It’s been constant ups and downs, projects all over the world, new and exciting ventures and trips to distant locations. I loved it, but it was also exhausting. I’ve used work as excuse to run away from lots of my problems with myself, throwing myself from work to work to avoid having time to think and reflect. Constantly chasing high after high, peak after peak, I thrived in a sort of chaos. When there was too much to do, there was no time to think about myself. It was comforting in a way, but it was also unhealthy. Taking it slow this time, re-aligning, focusing on mental health, it’s a very needed change.

It’s exciting. It’s also incredibly exciting to look at the future and wonder what it holds. One of my biggest commitments and resolutions for this year and the future is to spend my time and energy working on thing which are important to me, fullfilling and those I am passionate about. I don’t yet know what comes next, but I am excited to try things out and explore. As cliché as it is, maybe it really is about the journey and not the destination.

Sitting here in on my green bench in the park next to our home, I look out at the playground and dog park, the sun dipping everything into this beautiful orange color, and I am at peace. “Make your own kind of music“ blasting through my headphones, I think I am really ready for this year. Finding my way to being unapologetically me will be a long journey, but I cannot wait to see what it will bring.

Let’s do 2024 well, friends.

With love from Milan,

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